Friday, August 24, 2007

Two Boys - Seventh Grade Criminals?

Did they bring a gun to school? NO

Did they deface school property? NO

Did they steal school equipment? NO

They were arrested and jailed for "butt swatting".

Dennis Prager wrote this article for Jewish World Review which is funny and sad and infuriating all rolled into one. It is just incredible what our education environments have degraded into.

Here's the deal:
"At Patton Middle School in McMinnville, Oregon, students created something called "slap butt day." On one such day in February 2007, according to The Oregonian (July 22, 2007): "Two boys tore down the hall of Patton Middle School after lunch, swatting the bottoms of girls as they ran — what some kids later said was a common form of greeting. But bottom-slapping is against policy in McMinnville Public Schools. So a teacher's aide sent the gawky seventh-graders to the office, where the vice principal and a police officer stationed at the school soon interrogated them."
Yes, a police officer interrogated them, and then read them their Miranda rights and then hauled them off in handcuffs to juvenile jail, where they spent the next five days.

Can you imagine that?

Is this what we have come to in our schools and our legal system?

And according to the article it got a lot worse. Those two seventh-grade boys were not permitted contact with their parents for 24 hours, and they were brought into court in shackles and jail garb, and they were strip-searched four times!

Apparently, this was not taken as an honest dopey middle school prank - these kids were treated to the full force of the law because the Yamhill County District Attorney, Bradley Berry, brought felony sex charges against the two boys, and then explained to the media that, "From our perspective and the perspective of the victims, this was not just horseplay."

Looks like the Yamhill County justice system has too much time and money on their hands, and very little common sense. And the fact of the matter is that the girls involved in the "butt slap" incident did regard it as horseplay and they were pressured into making a case against the boys. It seems that coercion is a common tool used in these institutions.

These poor lads and their families were subjected to enormous defense legal fees ($40,000) and have been made to appear as perverts and sexual predators and they could have been placed on sexual predator lists for the rest of their lives! Prager came to the boys' defense and many of his show's listeners sent letters of support for the boys.

Berry finally dropped the felony charges after great public pressure (and probably a touch of humiliation). The boys were then charged 'only' with sexual harassment. Bradley Berry ought to be punished for subjecting these two boys to such traumatic treatment, when probably all they needed was a good talking to by the principal or their parents if indeed "butt slapping" was so objectionable. I think what Bradley Berry and that school did amounts to nothing less than child abuse (and perhaps even torture and sexual abuse for being shackled and strip searched). They ought to be charged for those crimes.

Why oh why do we waste time with this nonsense? Bringing dopey seventh-graders into a court of law for such a crazy infraction, when clearly there are so many more serious crimes being perpetrated on our streets and in our towns? Do these idiot people have nothing better to do then to beat up seventh grade kids? Who are the real bullies here?

One has to wonder too, that when kids are treated like this it is no wonder that they turn into angry young men and women who abhor authority because that authority is so routinely abused and misused. It is one thing to do something stupid like "butt slap" day, but it is yet another thing to treat innocent middle school pranks like they are horrendous crimes against humanity.

It is yet another reason why I am so glad that my children are homeschooled and do not have to deal with the insanity of zero tolerance school rules and the ridiculous iron fist of administrators and their powerful and misguided enforcement of those rules. These people really need to take some courses in a common sense approach to dealing with today's youth, or one day they will find an angry young man shooting up their school.

I hope those two lads and their families and friends will be able to recover from their ordeal and be able to leave this nightmare in the past.

(H/T S. Mendelsohn)


Stephen Mendelsohn said...


It's called Nifonging (named after the DA who framed the three Duke lacrosse players in North Carolina).

I just listened to Dennis Prager's show on It gets even worse than this. Apparently DA Bradley Berry earlier charged a couple of other boys with felony sex abuse earlier, and these boys spent almost three weeks in jail, strip searched, and the charges were subsequently pleaded down to harassment. Prager asked the attorney for the two boys what Berry's motive was, and whether he was trying to ingratiate himself to militant feminists who see all males as evil. It should be noted that girls were doing this to boys as well, but no girls were arrested.

You can listen to the show at and click on "Slap Butt Boys Update With Dennis Prager." Prager is leading a campaign to get DA Berry and the vice principal of the middle school in McMinville removed from their jobs.

This case also raises the problems of "sex offender" registries, which do not merely list rapists and child molesters. In Georgia, someone who was convicted of consensual oral relations even inside marriage (before the Supreme Court struck down such laws as unconstitutional) must register as a sex offender for life and cannot live within 1000 feet of a bus stop or church. Yet multiple murderers do not have to register for anything upon release from prison, so long as they have never been convicted of a "sex" crime. Treating high school seniors who hanky-panky with sophomores (not that I condone such behavior in any way) more severely than multiple murderers is a radical perversion of justice.

Lisa Giebitz said...

"It should be noted that girls were doing this to boys as well, but no girls were arrested."

I had read that elsewhere as well. It was the part of all this that REALLY ticked me off (not that the rest of it isn't deplorable).

It seems that time and again boys and young men are the ones taking the brunt of all the idiotic zero tolerance policies. Is it because boys are just naturally more criminal, as society wants us to believe and take for granted? My common sense tells me 'no'. My husband and I want to protect our son from the forces in public schools that will work against him in such ways.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

I am always flabberghasted at the way schools deal with discipline in this day and age. A Florida kindergartener was handcuffed by police for having a temper tantrum. A New Mexico teenager was expelled because she borrowed her dad's keys, which had a miniscule pocket knife on them. The list goes on and on.

We have become a society in which discipline of children has become a legal issue and kid's lives can be ruined for displaying a normal amount of poor judgement or high energy.

What is really interesting is that we are expecting more and more adult-like reasoning and behavior out of kids at the same time that brain research is showing us that good judgement takes a much longer time to develop than we previously thought.

Butt-slapping by seventh graders shows a certain amount of poor taste and bad judgement but it is certainly not criminal. I think that a good talking-to by the principal and by male role models would be the best response.

Arrest? Handcuffs? Shackles? Strip Searches? It's sort of like hunting ducks with an elephant gun. It destroys the target.

The boys showed a normal amount of poor judgement for their age. But one has to wonder about the judgement of the adults who reacted to this. It sounds like they have limited use of their frontal lobes.

mccommas said...

These men need to be fired and made an example of. This kind of thing has to stop. I agree with the statement "Who are the real bullies here?"

I heard on Rush many years ago a female student was suspended for bringing a gun to school.

She brought a gun all right. A water gun. The girl was FIVE years old!

We keep hearing this kind of thing over and over. Why do these people get to keep their jobs? I just don't get it.

If their judgement is this poor than what else might they do that might cause our kids real harm?

Blueberry said...

Six grade "goosing" was rampant in the halls of the middle school I attended in the 80's. The perpetrators were terribly obnoxious and energetic boys that enjoyed the reaction they got with every goose. Eventually we learned to either return the goose harder than it was given or ignore them altogether.

They lost interest after a few weeks and I never dated them in high school, however, I would have been horrified if they had been treated like the boys in this post. Yes, they were immature and dumb, but they were also my classmates and friends in a roundabout way.

I feel so bad for boys and young men these days. Now, more than ever, we need to teach our kids to think ahead at possible consequences, sort of like training them to detect and avoid land mines. We'll need to use these news stories to educate them of the ways of the world, which isn't Leave it to Beaver land anymore.

Thanks for posting this, Judy! I hadn't heard about this until you posted it.

Vermont Woodchuck said...

Common sense is forbidden in Liberal circles. It makes them feel inferior.